- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 5, 2016

The lone debate between vice presidential nominees Gov. Mike Pence and Sen. Tim Kaine on Tuesday evening sparked an gigantic avalanche of partisan arguments and discussion discussion both before and after the event. But it did not draw a gigantic audience.

According to preliminary numbers from Nielsen Media Research, 36 million viewers tuned in to the eight major broadcast and cable channels — a group that includes ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, CNN, MSNBC and Fox News. Numbers for PBS and C-SPAN have yet to be tallied. Analysts expect the final number could reach 40 million, or above.

Meanwhile, the Pence vs. Kaine match garnered the smallest audience since 2000, when Dick Cheney and Sen. Joe Lieberman faced the public. Twenty-nine million tuned in that night.

Vice presidential discussions can be a big draw, though. Vice President Joe Biden and Sarah Palin set a record for viewership in 2008 with 70 million. Mr. Biden and Rep. Paul Ryan pulled in 51 million when they were up at bat in 2012. Mr. Cheney also faced John Edwards in 2004; that match drew 44 million.

The networks also duked it out. Among the broadcasters, NBC was in first place, drawing 7 million, while Fox News led the way in the cable realm with 6.1 million.

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